1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Tasco Starfish Reproduction Review (dan Rinehart), Poor Quality Reproduction Fish, Bad Service

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Trophy Specialist, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I just got a large mouth bass from TASCO two days ago and thought I'd share my experience and opinion on their product and service. I was swamped this winter, so I decided to order this reproduction "customer ready" so I wouldn't have to prep the form and paint it. They charge $15.95 per inch for this product/service. It took a little over two months for the fish to arrive. It came well packed and undamaged with a shipping charge of $28. My profit margin on this item is very small. Unfortunately the quality of workmanship and paint job on the fish was sub par in my opinion. For starters they put a cheap, .15 cent brass hanger on it installed in such a way that the fish hangs crooked, so that will need to be replaced/remedied. The back of the fish was left with large holes, chipped paint and generally very unprofessionally finished. I would expect the wall side of the fish to be at least painted one color and finished in such a way that it looked neat with an appropriate hanger. I will have to fill the holes and repaint the back of the fish. The show side of the fish was painted half way decent, but they applies the gloss top coat sporadically missing some spots and splattering the finish on in thinly in others spots. I will have to apply a good gloss coat to not only make it look better but to protect the paint. I also feel it is important gloss over the back of a fish to to protect that paint otherwise it will chip off easily as it is now. I'm not even going to get into general paint job of the fish as I'll let you folks be the judge of that.

    I contacted TASCOs customer service and they requested photos. They later called me back and said that the fish was finished to their regular standards and methods. They even said that that that cheap brass hanger is what their customers request. As for the back of the fish and the missing gloss; they said it was fine. So they made no adjustment to the pricing or offer me anything for the time/materials I will have to spend finishing the bass so it is presentable to my client. I told them that I would not be doing business with them again and also said I would post this review which they were fine with.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  2. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    Here's a front and back view:


  3. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I was never much of a Starfish fan, but Roman did appreciate my business and offered good customer service. Unfortunately, Tasco/Rinehart have taken a good series of blanks (in the Warren's blanks) and mucked them up too along with their poor customer service. At $11.95 "Near Ready To Paint" they're some of the most expensive blanks out there yet their quality, and customer service have tanked considerably since Rinehart took them over. I can no longer recommend them nor will I ever use them again either. I have given them a half dozen chances since they took over and they failed on the majority of their blanks. The big problem is the person doing the prep work has ZERO artistic ability and she doesn't see the issues. Then, Dolores - altho nice on the phone, cannot answer any questions or make any decisions without talking to Dan. They're not willing to work with you when problems arise as you've mentioned above TS. Their answer (even though it's their fault for the problems that I paid good money for) is to first dig in their heels and then offer to fix things (only after much time wasted and me making a huge stink). BUT they want you to pay to ship it back - oftentimes for relatively minor issues, but sometimes much bigger issues that they still dig their heels in. I'll have to find some pics of my very last blank ever rec'd from Tasco/Rinehart, a walleye. Screw the back and cheap hanger! How about focusing on quality finish work on the FRONT SIDE!!! My NRTP walleye blank took me about 4 hours and shipping it back (and swapping out a fin set on my nickle too!) to get it to LCR's usual, acceptable standard.

    You know, I can deal with the occasional problem or two - as long as I feel as though my supplier is working with me AND appreciates my business. Tasco has more than "a problem or two" with their blanks. Bigger picture, I did not get this warm, fuzzy feeling" at all with their poor customer service and seemingly not giving a rats behind if they sent out poor quality blanks. They're just a "bottom line" company. And they could care less about me and my business. I choose suppliers/companies that are willing to be smart, and work with me when problems arise. AND, I fully expect them to appreciate my business. I now use the Tasco/Rinehart catalogs to light bonfires. To all the other "fish folks" out there: You have been warned!
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    As we say and it’s a lesson learned, you got what you paid for. Cheap commercial work.
    Next time find somebody better but you’ll pay a lot more per fish. Sorry to hear
    JL, rogerswildlife and Kerby Ross like this.
  5. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Looks like an Archie Phillips 30 minute paint job,
    JL, George, Richard C and 2 others like this.
  6. drwalleye

    drwalleye Active Member

    although I never ordered any starfish products, I have been ordering for years from them. my experience has been mainly good with customer service. even when there is a problem they have always done right by me and made good on any mistakes of which I can say are very few. I cant say I would count on the girls behind the desk to be required to answer the technical questions. When I call McKenzie for problems or questions I really like that they have actual taxidermists there to talk to. Those girls don't answer questions either. Just saying not all bad over there. just my opinion
  7. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    In this case the owner of TASCO was in on the decision that the fish I got was perfectly fine. Incidentally, this is not the first time I've gotten bad product from TASCO, but the other times they did work out a amicable settlement. In this case, I would have expected to get a small reimbursment for the work/materials I'll have to put into a mount that was advertised as "customer ready".
    pir^2h, FishArt and drwalleye like this.
  8. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Dr Walleye - the big difference being with LCR (for example) Pam will get Nathan or whomever immediately if you have a problem. Whereas with Tasco the best they're going to do is get back to you the next day at the soonest. And then if you have more questions you get to go back and forth again. McKenzie isn't a problem either - they, like LCR understand customer service...
  9. From these posts Dan sounds to me like a micromanager and wants to control everything no matter how big or small. (I have worked under those like this) He needs to learn to delegate authorization to customer service. the only thing TASCO has that I can't get elsewhere is EZ-100 (at least I haven't found it anywhere else yet). I am not overly impressed with his customer service. I was shorted an item a couple years ago but after three phone calls it was finally shipped to me. It should have only taken one call. Otherwise no issues here.

    I would think that Dan, being a former world fish champion would expect more quality from a product that bears his company name and his reputation on it. I suspect those people painting (or, as he calls it "toning" in his magazine articles in Taxidermy Today) are not taxidermists at all and maybe paid by piecework or minimum wage.
  10. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    i think you meant " Cheap wholesale commercial work " .
    You fish guys have to go to the industry forum and read
    Good Enough For Commercial Work.
    George, Mar 9, 2020
    That says it all. No standards ever , anywhere , and never in the future , that's taxidermy.
    JL and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  11. tvenden.tasco@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

    Dear Trophy Specialists

    Please take us up on our offer and return the fish to us so that we can repair the fish to your satisfaction. We are very blessed that we are still able to stay open and operate in this time of historic difficulty. Our staff has shown great courage in the face of fear - yet remain ready to serve you. Please return your Largemouth Bass to us and we will gladly make any changes you request. Please stay safe and God Bless!

  12. tvenden.tasco@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member


    Dear Trophy Specialists

    Please take us up on our offer and return the fish to us so that we can repair the fish to your satisfaction. We are very blessed that we are still able to stay open and operate in this time of historic difficulty. Our staff has shown great courage in the face of fear - yet remain ready to serve you. Please return your Largemouth Bass to us and we will gladly make any changes you request. Please stay safe and God Bless!

  13. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    To little. To late. This is the first that you offered to do anything to make this right. I've already fixed it but because of that delay, my shop is now shut down as per the law and I wont get paid for it until our governer opens us back up. I wouldn't be surprised if I get stuck with it due to the delay. I had ordered the fish in early Jan.
  14. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

    Trophy Specialist

    You finely got there attention. Well played. This review spoke volumes.
  15. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    yep...sounds like they only want to do whats right because of this thread. if they were going to stand behind their product they would have done it when you first asked.
    maybe they prefer volume over quality, then fix the quality when to many people make waves.
  16. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I'm actually shocked that a taxidermy supply company is open and operating now when all non-essential businesses were ordered to close so their workers could stay safe. Can you explain why you are violating the law now?
    msestak likes this.
  17. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    There may be a clause in there which allows some business to remain open. I don't know about Wisconsin but according to Jim Allred Supply, North Carolina is on shutdown to manufacturing. However, businesses that are providing products and services to home based businesses are allowed to continue operating as normal. That may have something to do with why they are open. Maybe someone from Wisconsin can clarify this.
    msestak likes this.
  18. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    It took this forum to do what is right. You need to take another look at your customer service, or should I say, lack of customer service.

    Trophy Specialist, I find it interesting that previously they said the fish they sent was their "Regular standards and methods" and refused to do anything but now they they have been blasted here over their poor quality they are all to happy to fix the problem. It shouldn't have taken this to get them to do the right thing. The work of poor customer service travels fast and will eventually kill a business.
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Ding-ding-ding, we have a winner!!! On all counts! And quite frankly, (IMO) with the person(s) doing the finish work you wouldn't have been happy with their "fixes" even if you sent it back.

    After much stress and back and forth I was able to send my poor quality walleye back to them for them to complete the job I paid for. But, I wasn't holding my breath because I knew from our convos that this girl doing the finish work wasn't going to do a very good job. Sure enough, once received the fins were all jacked up and installed incorrectly - looked like a stupid walking fish they had the pelvics so far forward and at an angle that is impossible for a fish to do! And the fins were too big too. Eyes too big/needing replacement too. So, it was actually MORE work for me by returning it!!!! Once rec'd a second time I had to lop their crappy fins off and replace them with a new set. (Let me ruster up some pics I'll post later).

    IMO they deserve this public lashing! It's one thing to put out a sub-par product (and they're the most expensive rtp!) But, when you call and complain and their first answer is that you're pretty much stuck with it/not their problem - even though it's THEIR mistakes! Originally I wanted to negotiate some type of credit because it's simply not cost-effective to re-crate and ship things back and forth again. They were not willing to work here at all! Quite frankly this move here makes me question their supposed strength - running a business for profit. Forcing to ship minor and semi-minor problems and not being willing to work with their customers is simply DUMB BUSINESS!!!

    The funny thing was Dan mentioned that he wanted to make me happy because (sic) "he can help grow my business" - a nice gesture but obviously just lip service! I can't grow my business by losing money fixing his crappy blanks! (Actually the Warren's line is very nice - it's the people doing the finish work that's the problem. And I'm guessing that's coming from the top down). I personally thought the comment was quite comical! Rinehart/Tasco needs us MORE than we need them! I will never, ever do business with them again!

    Maybe if they don't get enough work to justify those huge Starfish and Warren's purchases Dan will learn a little bit about how business works when you produce a sub-par product and you also don't back up your products. I'll miss that Warren's line a bit, Starfish blanks from mounts - not so much. I may miss out on maybe one or two fish jobs a year by not using them anymore, but guess what? IF I can't find a blank elsewhere and only Tasco has it, I'm telling my customer a quality blank that size does not exist! Which would be the truth! Good riddance Rinehart/Tasco! You've made it quite clear that you don't truly care about your customers!


    Agree 100% same for me
    msestak likes this.